Tags: paramount | apollo | sony

Sony & Apollo Propose $26B Paramount Offer

Sony & Apollo Propose $26B Paramount Offer
(Artur Widak/AP)

Friday, 03 May 2024 09:27 AM EDT

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and private equity firm Apollo Global Management have made a $26 billion cash offer for movie group Paramount Global, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The companies submitted a non-binding offer letter on Wednesday, signed by Sony Pictures Chief Executive Tony Vinciquerra and Apollo partner Aaron Sobel, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apollo did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters, which reported in April that Sony's SPE and Apollo were in talks on a joint bid.

Paramount and Sony declined to comment on the Wall Street journal report.

SPE would hold a majority stake in the venture, a source previously told Reuters, and operate Paramount, whose movie library spans "Star Trek," "Mission:Impossible" and "Indiana Jones," alongside TV characters like SpongeBob SquarePants.

Paramount is already in exclusive merger talks with Skydance Media and is working to build its streaming business as it faces tough competition from Netflix and Walt Disney as viewership of cable TV declines.

Shari Redstone's media empire replaced its CEO Bob Bakish with a trio of executives on Monday, while four independent members of Paramount board are set to step down at the company's annual shareholder meeting on June 4.

Some shareholders have raised concerns about the deal with Davis Ellison's Skydance and have urged Paramount to consider other offers, including the one from Apollo.

Bloomberg News has reported that Redstone, who owns a majority of Paramount's voting shares, and Ellison have made concessions to make the deal more appealing to shareholders.

Skydance's exclusive deal period ends on Friday.

Paramount has been struggling to recover from last year's months-long strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, a soft advertising market and cord-cutting in the United States that has eroded profit for its TV business.

Its streaming service also widely trails rivals such as Netflix and Disney+ in subscriber numbers - even though Redstone had hoped the merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019 would help the combined company, later renamed Paramount Global, compete better.

Shares of Paramount have fallen more than 65% since then, losing more than $14 billion in market value.

At Wednesday's closing price of $12.26, the company was valued at $7.67 billion, according to LSEG data. It has more than $14 billion of debt.

The potential acquisition would help SPE grow its share of the North American box office. Sony Pictures earned $1.01 billion in U.S. and Canada box office revenue last year, compared with Paramount's $842.4 million, according to data from Comscore.

SPE, a unit of Tokyo-based Sony Group, says its operations span movie and television production, acquisition and distribution, digital content creation and distribution, studio facility operation and the development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.

The group has more than 3,500 movie titles and notable franchises such as "Jumanji," "Resident Evil" and "James Bond."

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and private equity firm Apollo Global Management have made a $26 billion cash offer for movie group Paramount Global, The Wall Street Journal reported.
paramount, apollo, sony
472
2024-27-03
Friday, 03 May 2024 09:27 AM
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